The plethora of both federal and Kentucky state laws that you may be subject to at any given time, whether your are at work or even at home, can be daunting to consider. “Ignorance of the law is not a defense” is a phrase you may already be familiar with, but it can take on a more frightening meaning when you consider the law in terms of, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
There are many ways that you can find yourself in violation of laws that carry serious financial and even incarceration penalties and not even realize it until you are charged. You can, for example, run afoul of the Federal Wilderness Act if you unwittingly drive your vehicle onto a protected wilderness area. You could try to warn customers of problems with your company’s email security, and not realize that such a communication can be considered to be a form of computer fraud. You can leave out a detail or two when answering questions to a federal official – even when your statement is not under oath – and still be accused of obstructing justice.
In some situations, you can even technically get into trouble for unknowing violations of foreign laws or regulations if you are involved in any kind of import or export activity. Even calling in sick when you really aren’t can at least theoretically land you in legal trouble for denying your employer its right to your “honest services.”
Of course, in the vast majority of situations like these, you will not find yourself being arrested and charged with a federal or state offense. But the point is, not all crimes require you to be acting intentionally to be found to be engaged in “illegal” activity. No matter what the circumstances, if you find yourself facing criminal charges, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible to protect your legal rights.